Monday, November 26, 2018

Our Week - The One with Thanksgiving Break, All the Decorating, & the North Pole Breakfast

Happy Cyber Monday, friends!  I didn't go out for Black Friday because Cyber Monday always has my heart!  Amazon has some great deals today so you know where you'll find me periodically throughout the day!

The kids were off all week for Thanksgiving Break, so today I’m recapping our entire week because it was just too good to leave anything out!

Monday, November 19

Monday was the kids’ first day off, so we spent the morning putting away all of our everyday house decorations in anticipation of pulling everything else out for Christmas later in the week.  Eek!

As I stated recently on the blog, one of my best friends, Katie, and her family are moving away to South Korea as her husband is in the military.  Monday was the day that the movers came to pack up their house, so my friend Jeannine and I offered to watch Katie and Matthew’s girls all day so she and her husband could pack in peace. 

Jeannine and her two little boys, plus Katie’s two little girls all arrived at our house at lunchtime for a giant all-day play date.  We sat the kiddos down for lunch first and then they played their little hearts out inside and out for the rest of the day.  It was warm and sunny so we turned them loose in the front yard and driveway for well over an hour to burn some energy and they all had a blast riding bikes and tricycles and doing sidewalk chalk.

Katie and her husband, Matthew, came to pick up the girls later that afternoon and that meant that it was time for us to say goodbye for the last time.  There were lots of hugs and lots of tears, but we got through it.  I sure do miss them dearly already, though, but they are about to embark on a huge adventure.  Love you always, Katie.  <3

Tuesday, November 20

Tuesday morning the kids and I were up bright and early to try to beat the crowd at the grocery store.  Sadly, it was still pretty crowded at 8:30 in the morning, but I guess I should have known it would be two days before Thanksgiving. 

After a quick grocery drop-off at home, we headed straight to the library to meet my friend, Adrienne, her daughter who is Olivia’s age, and their brand spanking new baby girl!  The kids did some activities in the library for a bit, and then we headed over to the playground behind the library to let them get some fresh air even though it was chilly and wet from the rain earlier in the morning.

Olivia requested a manicure and a pedicure when we got home and she wanted “candy cane colors” so we put a fresh coat of red polish on her fingers and a fresh coat of white polish on her little toes.  She’s not allowed to wear nail polish at school (they have a pretty strict uniform code) so she has to take advantage of long breaks from school.  So funny, because I remember doing the same thing when I was little.  :o)

After manis and pedis, I pulled out all of the Christmas decorations for the bedrooms in the house.  The kids and I decorated Olivia’s tree, Jacob’s tree, and then the tree in our master bedroom.  If you watch my Instagram stories, you know that I had a dilemma where to set it up this year, and I ultimately decided to put it by the TV as that space is slightly larger.  Also because when I had it right by my side of the bed, I couldn’t get my nightstand drawer open.  Oh, and it scared the crap out of me a couple of times when I woke up in the middle of the night.  Lol.

Wednesday, November 21

Brian took off Wednesday through Friday so we all slept in Wednesday and the rest of the morning was slow as well.  I drank coffee while reading some blogs (blog friends, I’m soooo behind but I’m hoping to get caught up today!) and snuggling with Maui on the couch while the kids watched cartoons.  Their cartoon of choice right now?  Larva Island.  It’s a Netflix original cartoon for kids and it reminds me a little bit of Angry Birds because there’s no talking… only weird noises and annoying sounds.  Lol.  Parents, this show gets on my nerves SO BAD so don’t say I didn’t warn you if you do decide to let your kids check it out.  They think it’s hilarious.  It annoys the stew out of me.  Haha. 

We headed out to Five Guys for lunch and followed that up with a trip to the movie theater to see The Grinch in 3D.  We all loved it!

After the movie, we headed to Walmart to stock up on Christmas lights for the front yard and a few other items we needed, and it was awful fighting the crowd.  I thought I was going to have Walmart rage by the time we left.  Lol.  Remind me never to go there the day before Thanksgiving ever again!

That evening B put up some of the lights out in the front yard.  The kids have been begging for us to put up more lights than we already do, and I’m surely not going to turn down their requests to be even more festive than we already are!!

Once the lights were done, we sat down to pulled pork sandwiches that had been cooking in the slow cooker all day, and then we all snuggled up on the couch to watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

We let the kids have a sleepover in Jacob’s room since it was Thanksgiving Eve but they were so tired by the time we got them in their sleeping bags that they both passed out quickly without too much giggling.

Thursday, November 22

Thanksgiving Day always means homemade waffles for breakfast (this time with red and green sprinkles!) and sitting around watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  B went out and grabbed a real live newspaper so we could look at the Black Friday ads the old-fashioned way and it was a lazy morning… one of my favorite mornings of the whole year!

We headed downtown to the country club at noon to meet my father-in-law and the rest of the family for Thanksgiving lunch and it was divine as always.  Their food is always amazing and we look forward to that meal all year long!  Never mind Olivia pulled up my dress in the buffet line.  Don’t ask.  Lol.

Once we were all stuffed (well, I wasn’t… I had paced myself since I knew we had another meal to eat) we all headed down to the River Walk to walk off all of that food.  The weather was chilly and beautiful… almost identical to last year’s weather.  We walked all along the river, stopped for a few family pictures, let the kids walk on the rocks, and then we even headed to the playground to let the kids play for a while.

Back home we had a couple of hours before it was time to go to the next event, so B and I snuggled on the couch and finished looking at Black Friday ads, and then I took a quick little catnap.

I had to be up by 4 to start cooking for our Thanksgiving dinner.  We always meet my momma’s entire side of the family for dinner and instead of one person doing the whole meal, everyone just brings a dish or two.  Makes it so much easier on everyone!  This year I brought our famous Pineapple Casserole (as always) and my Momma’s famous Macaroni and Cheese… seriously the best!

We arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house at 5:30 and spent the rest of the evening over there.  My brother and sister-in-law had brought my nephew and my brand new niece, so I spent a lot of the evening snuggling her… and smelling her head.  Gah, babies smell so wonderful!

Friday, November 23

Friday, I spent the entire morning cleaning and tidying the house and preparing to bring the Christmas tree home.  We stepped out just after lunch to go pick out the tree and it was cold and cloudy.  It was PERFECT weather for tree-hunting!  I can’t even remember the last time we didn’t sweat while looking for a tree.  It usually ends up being overly warm for some reason, so it was quite a treat to have the ideal weather to fit our activity.  And it was so festive being able to bundle up… even if it meant we couldn’t flaunt our cute Christmas outfits!  ;o)

We found the perfect tree, let the kids jump in the bouncy house for a few minutes, and then we headed home so I could go ahead and start putting the lights on… because it takes FOREVER!

I got all 13 strands on the tree in record time (a little under two hours, maybe?) and then we decided to go out for a super early dinner.  We just had a new restaurant open a few weeks ago and it’s been impossible to get in (there’s been at least a two hour wait every time we’ve called) so we thought that if we got there at 4:30 maybe we could get in.  Lol.  Well, we were in luck!  When we arrived they told us it would be about a 20-25 minute wait, but we ended up waiting for less than five minutes before we were seated at a high-top table.  A little scary with our clumsy Olivia who always falls out of chairs, but she sat really close to me and managed not to fall out all evening.  ;o)

The restaurant serves true Chicago style pizza, which nobody else serves around here, so B and I took full advantage.  We ordered a “Bottoms Up” pizza which is a deep dish pizza with the toppings on the bottom and the sauce on the top and it might have been the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire life.  It was incredible!  B and I grabbed a couple of new craft beers to try, and it ended up being a fabulous meal… and just what I needed after fighting with 13 strands of Christmas lights all afternoon.  Ha!

We made one more quick trip to Walmart afterwards for some more outdoor lights, and then it was back home to get the tree decorated.  I had put some deco mesh on the tree after I did the lights and I didn’t like the way it had turned out, so I set the kids up with some hot chocolate and peppermint sticks while I pulled that down.  Once the deco mesh was down, it was time to put up all of our favorite ornaments.  We turned on the Nat King Cole Christmas album and went to work.  It’s always a little stressful decorating the tree when you have little ones (hello, broken keepsake ornaments!), but it’s always so magical as well.  <3

After a job well done, Olivia went to “sleep” on the couch before we finally headed up to get them in the bed.  We had so many late nights during this break but that’s what it’s all about!

After the kids were in the bed, I prepared for their North Pole Breakfast the next morning and then B and I stayed up waaaay too late watching one of our favorite movies ever, This is 40.  If you’ve never seen it – pure hilarity!

Saturday, November 24

Saturday morning the kids awoke to… The North Pole Breakfast!  And our elf, Cheek, came back!!!!  This year he brought new Christmas PJs for both kids, and we feasted on powdered donuts, peppermint marshmallows, Christmas Dots, candy canes, Christmas M&M’s, and the cutest frosted Christmas shortbread cookies you ever did see!  And don’t worry, I made the kids eat a banana before they ate all that sugar!  Lol.

We always get the kids new Christmas ornaments each year and I like for them to be meaningful, so I always purchase one for each of them that is associated with something that happened during the year.  This year was our first Disney World trip ever so I had bought them each ornaments in Magic Kingdom – a Tinkerbell for Olivia because meeting Tink was one of her favorite parts of the whole trip, and a Buzz Lightyear car for Jacob because he had loved the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin ride so much.  We gave those to them at breakfast, too, and they were so excited to hang them on the tree… after we wrote their names and the year on them first, of course.  ;o)

The rest of the morning was spent watching ESPN College Gameday while finishing up with the Christmas decorating outside and then we headed to my mother-in-law and step father-in-law’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.  We had a HUGE crowd because my other sister-in-law and her family came to town as well as my SIL and her family that are always there.  And then my step-SIL and her family came as well as my step-FIL’s mom and cousins. 

There was a huge feast – they always outdo themselves – and we ate and watched football and played out back in the yard as well.

Saturday evening we headed over to my FIL’s house to celebrate my nephew’s birthday a few weeks late.  We ended up watching the Alabama vs. Auburn game over there, and then when we came home we had to check out the outdoor Christmas lights in the dark before getting the kids in the bed and watching more football. 

Sunday, November 25

Sunday started out with 8 AM mass and then we headed home for a bit to relax before heading back to my MIL and step-FIL’s for brunch.  Everyone was tired of Thanksgiving-y food by then, so they made a spread of eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, leftover ham, pancakes, muffins, and donuts.  I heart brunch!!!!  We then celebrated my nephew’s birthday with them as well and then spent loads of time in the back yard because it was yet another chilly but beautiful day.

My mom cooked Sunday dinner – Mexican casserole – again, because everyone was tired of Thanksgiving food.  We opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed one last evening before heading back into the regular Monday through Friday routine today. 

I truly feel like we made our break count this year and I hope you did, too!  I’m already counting down the days until Christmas Break!  I truly love having Brian and our babies home with me!

Don't forget to link up with HeatherJohannah, and myself... just grab our new Christmas graphic and link up below!

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap.


  1. Man oh man what a busy one you had!! I am so excited to be decorating for Christmas. We came back a day early from our trip up north (due to the snow storm that was set to hit today), and the first thing we did was put up our tree. My goal for today is to finish the lights. Seriously, the worst part of the tree!

  2. You guys had one busy week!! Love the North Pole breakfast, so cute! And Olivia's mani is adorable. Hope you guys have a wonderful week.

  3. Beautiful everything here. You have a blessed life!

    1. We really do! And I'm so thankful for it every day! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. SO much good stuff in this post but that North Pole Breakfast is amazing!! So far none of my kiddos have asked about the Elf so he hasn't made an appearance... they're all that age where I don't know if/who believes and who doesn't anymore so I'm just sitting back and waiting to take my cues from them.

    1. Haha. I hear ya! I often wonder when Jacob will find out. And I wonder if he will ask us about it or just keep it to himself. I don't think I ever talked to my parents about it when I figured it out... that's why I still get a few gifts from Santa in my stocking each year. ;o)

  5. This makes me so happy! Your tree looks grand and loving the family shots. So pretty, all of you!

  6. Your tree looks so beautiful and I love all the family photos you guys were able to snap this week! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  7. Whoa that is a super busy weekend lol!! I love your tree and you guys look great in your pics at the river walk!!

  8. Looks like an amazing week! The tree looks great. And your photos are just amazing as always.

  9. You all had such a fun break! We loved The Grinch. Your tree looks beautiful. Also, I bet the kids loved their North Pole breakfast.

  10. Your North Pole Breakfast is #goals!!

  11. This post is full of SO MUCH GOODNESS!!! Okay, I have so much to comment on - First, your FIL at the park - love it! Could he be any cuter? Smelling of baby heads...yup. I'm right there with you - there's nothing better! All of those sweet Thanksgiving photos - your family on both sides rock. I wish our families were big and close like that!!! It's soooo wonderful and something I hope to give my children someday - food, fun and lots of family time! All of your Christmas decor and your North Pole breakfast - L-O-V-E - and you haven't even shared your home tour yet! I cannot wait!!! Happy Christmas season, Lindsay!!

  12. Your North Pole Breakfast is #goals!

  13. I still can't believe what a small world it is and that you are such good friends with the McKeegans! I actually didn't know they are headed to South Korea. Wow. Obviously I know how that feels for you to say "see ya later" to these dear friends. It's gut-wrenching. But how lucky were all of you to have each other during this season!

  14. What a fun-filled weekend! We can't wait to go see The Grinch - I think I might be most excited of all, haha. Love the North Pole breakfast, too. We've never tried that but I might have to this year! Happy Monday!

  15. I feel like there SO MUCH to comment on, I just do not know where to start, haha! As you said, you truly did make the most of this break. It just doesn't get better. And please, please share these dishes you referenced homemade mac n cheese, mexican casserole, and especially pineapple casserole...this northern girl needs to know what that is all about, haha!

  16. What a jam packed week! I love all the photos on the riverwalk, that one of y'all standing up as a family is a framer! How cute is your North Pole Breakfast tradition!? I love that!

  17. What a lovely week and weekend you had! It sounds like it was so nice.

  18. What a week! You packed in every little bit of fun you could into that week off from school. Love your elf breakfast! Going to WM the day before Thanksgiving is seriously brave! Have a great week. (I am so behind on blog reading too!)

  19. What an amazing week. I love your breakfast you did. I think I will get powdered donuts. Our welcome breakfast is Saturday. Love the shirt you wore for getting your Christmas tree.

  20. It looks like you had such a fun week! Great job capturing all the special moments! I'm so glad you scored some awesome Cyber Monday deals. We didn't go out shopping (too much for this pregnant lady), but I did get a few great deals online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

    1. I bet! Glad you were able to do some shopping from the comfort of your own home! You can't beat that!

  21. What a fun thanksgiving break. My kids love having a sleepover with each other over breaks.

  22. Looks like such a wonderful time!! Your kids are just precious!

  23. What a festive and full week you had. We have never done a North Pole Breakfast but I should on Saturday!!! That would be really fun! Your home looks lovely and you packed in so many sweet memories!

  24. This makes me so excited for my daughter to get a little older. It's her first year for everything so it has been really fun! Please explain...what is pineapple casserole?! And where do you store your every day decor when the seasonal decorations come out? I swear I need an extra room just for storage.


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